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How to look after a sick patient at home

Updated on November 17, 2013

Having your loved one as a patient at home is a dreadful experience. At the initial stage you become highly emotional and upset and your mental equilibrium is not stable. You should get hold of yourself and put on a brave facade. It is an absolute necessity that you gather all your courage to look after your loved one. Is your heart aching with agony? Do you want to cry? Then do it in privacy and not in front of the patient because it tends to unnerve the patient.

Mental stability

You should have the courage to handle the anguish of seeing your loved one suffering. You should always have the hope that he will be cured. My husband was a renal failure patient and was bed ridden for a year. I was shattered inside, my mind screaming in agony to see him in such a condition. I had no one to help me, but I was determined that my husband did not see my distress.

What are the things you should do?

You should know the true condition of the patient so that you can be mentally prepared for it. You should be clear about the medicines to be given and you should write it down so that you do not forget it.

Patient’s room must be neat

The patient’s room must be clean and airy. Do not close all the windows as it gives the room a gloomy atmosphere. Clean the floor twice a day with disinfectant. Change the bed covers daily. The curtains should be clean. The bathroom the patient uses should also be clean. The room should be airy and sunny.

Be aware of bed sores

If the patient is bed ridden for a long time he is bound to be affected by bed sores and care should be taken to avoid it. Turn the patient to his left side and powder him and place a pillow under his back so that he does not turn over. After half an hour gently turn him to his right and again powder him. This should be repeated, again and again.

Follow strict diet

You should ask the doctor about his diet and follow it to the dot. Depending on the illness the patient is suffering from, strict diet changes has to be followed. Renal failure patients must not have too much of protein and salt and water intake is very restricted. Heart patient’s diet should be free of oil and you should give him diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and skimmed milk.

How to interact with him?

You should be neat and presentable before the patient. If you are disheveled and drab, the patient gets the feeling that something is terribly wrong with him. Do not keep on talking about his illness before him as it feeds fear in him.

Talk to him in a pleasant way, telling him he is doing fine. Show your affection for him in an open way. Run your fingers in his hair with affection, and your love for him should be seen in your eyes.

Do not inform your relatives

Do not tell your relatives\friends that your family member is sick. If you do it there is a plethora of advice telling you of better doctors available, and also about other forms of treatment. You are confused and bewildered whether the patient is getting the right treatment.

Another sad aspect is that they come to see the patient out love for him, but make things worse by saying all the negative things. It is also unhygienic to allow many people to see the patient.

He should be made to ambulate if he is in a condition to walk. Let him do small things by himself, but you should be beside him always. If he has the mental stamina, play games with him like cards or carom board which will ease his mind.

Make him feel wanted and give him your utmost love. It will give him immense strength to recuperate. Your prayers help you to be mentally and physically fit to take care of your loved one.

© 2011 mathira


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    • mathira profile image

      mathira 6 years ago from chennai

      Thank you Ruchi,it is the care you show to the patients that is going to make them recuperate fast and give them some comfort in their sickness.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 6 years ago from Singapore

      Great article. Good information for all who need to help their family members at home while they are sick.

    • profile image

      mathira 6 years ago

      Thank you Giselle. I have had personal experience of looking after my sick husband and those were the most traumatic days in my life.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      These are great words of advice for caregivers. I found this a very helpful hub and it means so much when it comes from real-life experience.